And so it ends... This is it people. No more. This is the conclusion. There is a little surprise in there, and I hope you guys enjoyed it. Anyway, who enjoyed the darker MHV3 in comparison to the first and second stories? And who thinks Friedrich Heckler ranks up with iconic villains like Scar and Zira? This, in my opinion, has been my greatest work yet and I want to know if you guys agree. Also...this story wouldn't have been possible without the help and guidance of my co-author and mate; Haradion. So give him a thanks as well will ya?
EPILOGUE: FIGURE EIGHTS OF LIFE
Nothing gave Kovu more discomfort than telling Vitani what had happened to her only ever love, and delivering her the folded Pridelands Flag. She carried on in misery for days; not speaking for hours on end, and not eating anything. At night, it wasn't the baby Simba II's crying that kept Kovu awake, it was Vitani's. It had all been in the name of revenge.
The day that the Pridelands defeated Delta-Shadow and HYENA would join the battle of the Outlands, and even more famous, the First Battle of Prideland City in the history books and commemoration. Very few learned the secrets behind the conflict, and fewer knew the suffering of the people within those secrets. Heckler and his cause had turned the great circle of life into more of a 'figure eight', but it eventually curved back the right way. A statue was raised upon the natural landmark of Pride Rock; a statue of Simba pointing his pistol out onto the horizon. He would always be there watching over the Pridelands, and defending them. A plaque and fountain was also made in the Palace lobby.
In memory of the victims of the rise of HYENA
82 Pridelander soldiers, pilots, and Marines.
4 Intelligence Officers
9 Palace Guards
17 Police officers
247 other civilian freedom fighters
All victims of the Prideland Airport Massacre
They will live on in the hearts of those whom they left behind. Those whom they gave their lives to save. And those whom will never know of their sacrifice.
The inscription was written in gold on black marble while cool, clear water poured down it. On the other side of the fountain was another plaque.
Simba Taylor (1994-2045) King, inspiration, father.
Conner 'Kopa' Palladino/Taylor (2012-2045) Savior, son, hero.
Eugene 'EJ' Jones (1996-2045) Warrior, war hero, ally forever.
Harrison Dion (2023-2045) Friend, soldier, brother.
Assassination of Friedrich Heckler, + 10 years.
Kiara left her children's side and slowly walked up the flowing, peaceful fountain. This day marked ten years since the fall of Friedrich Heckler, and the liberation of the Pridelands. She slowly walked forward, with an orchid in her hand. That type of flower had always been the type Simba had compared her to as a little girl. A tear slid down her face as she slowly stopped in front the fountain, and gently stuck the flower next to Simba's name. She would never forget her father; the man that had given his life to save hers. She gently touched Simba's name before sucking up the tears and walking back to everyone else.
Vitani then walked forward, holding her daughter 'Alyssa' by the hand and holding a white rose in the other. A white rose was the one that Kopa had been wearing on his suit when she first fell in love with him. She gently touched Kopa's name and felt the cool water trickle down her fingers. Alyssa broke the silence.
"Mom...what happened to daddy? What was he like?" She asked Vitani innocently. Little Alyssa had never known her father.
"Sweetie, your father was a hero. He died so we could all live in peace." Vitani told her.
"Hush." Vitani quickly silenced her and walked with her back to the rest of the family.
When she rejoined them, an elderly Nala stepped forward, holding a red poppy flower. She now had long grey streaks in her blond hair, and walked with a poppy flower was known as the flower of war, getting its color from soaking up all the blood in the ground. And it would be the one that EJ would want. EJ had been Nala's last good friend, even through all the bickering, wisecracks and sarcasm the two were always there for each other. Nala never thought she would feel his absence like a whole in her heart.
She gently placed the poppy next to EJ's name, and saluted. They were always the two guardians of the Pridelands, kicking ass since 2015. Nala then hobbled her way back to the family, and the last person stepped forward. It was the heroic pilot; Corporal Colette Lorenzo, who still flew with the PRMC.
She carried not a flower, but something that she had held onto for a long time; Agent Dion's PI1 badge. She held her emotions back and slowly pinned the badge next to his name, before kissing her fingertips and touching his name. She withdrew the same hand, and saluted.
Kovu then walked out in front of the group and cleared his throat.
"I just want to thank you all for coming today, it really meant a lot to me. Ten years ago, many people died, and we achieved the impossible. Thank you, all of you." Kovu addressed them and nodded solemnly.
He rejoined his family sighed.
"Dad, can we go home now? This was boring..." Simba II complained.
"Simba! Show some respect." Kiara nudged her son, with her unoccupied arm. The other held onto their three year old daughter, Charlee.
"Yeah. Mommy I'm hungry..." Charlee whined.
"Take Charlee home. I still want to do the sunrise with Simba." Kovu told her, and Simba's face lit up. What did Kovu mean by that?
"What? What do you mean 'sunrise'" Simba II asked Kovu.
"It's a surprise." Kovu winked at him and looked Kiara, who smiled at him.
"Kiara...you can have the night off if you want. I'll take the kids and we can have pizza and movies." Nala offered.
"YAY!" Simba, Charlee and Alyssa all cried out in unison.
"You spoil them rotten." Kovu raised an eyebrow at Nala.
"I'm a grandma...it's what I'm supposed to do." Nala joked, and started leading all the kids over to the elevator.
Simba II followed after her, but Kovu gently put a hand on his shoulder and stopped him.
"You don't stay up late, you hear me?" He told him softly.
"Why?" The ten year old Simba II asked.
"Because you're going to be waking up early tomorrow." Kovu winked at him, and Simba finally understood. He had never done that before.
The next morning
Simba was suddenly shaken awake by his unimpressed father. He groaned and slowly, he recognized his father looking over him angrily.
"You shouldn't have stayed up late." Kovu growled at him.
"But Grandma Nala said we could watch movies." Simba moaned.
"Really? Which movies?"
"You know...Scarface, Reservoir Dogs...the usual stuff." Simba replied and forced himself out of bed.
"She didn't really let you watch those did she? You're ten!" Kovu sighed.
"Yep." Simba confirmed. Kovu shook his head.
"Anyway, get dressed. And be quick." Kovu ordered his son.
Kovu felt a daunting feeling as he led his son up to the hatch that went onto the roof of the palace. This was something that was traditional to do, and he had been waiting a long time to do it. Mufasa had done it to Simba, and Simba had done it to him. Now it was Simba II's turn. Kovu tried to flush out the nervous feeling; he had done the impossible in defeating Heckler right? This shouldn't be a problem for him. It was just that now he was in charge of the whole circle of life thing, and he couldn't let it slip into another figure eight pattern like he had with Heckler. He had wondered what he would do with himself when Heckler was dead, and this was it; bring the next generation forth. Be a good father.
They climbed onto the roof, and the cold morning air hit them instantly. Kovu heard his son's teeth chatter together.
"You okay?" Kovu asked him.
The two of them stood out on the roof, as the sun slowly rose over the Pridelands, illuminating the roads, buildings and landscape before them. The sky glowed a pinkish-orange color and Kovu sighed.
"Look Simba. Everything the light touches is our country." Kovu started off.
"Wow! You control all this?" Simba asked curiously.
"Yes...well, not really. We're a Constitutional Monarchy Simba." Kovu corrected him.
"A king's time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. One day, the sun will set on my time here...and rise with you as the new boss." Kovu smiled at his son again, who seemed very impressed.
"And that means I have to be in charge?"
"Yeah." Kovu answered.
"Everything the light touches...What about tha-" Simba started but was cut off.
"That's East Side. Coincidentally the mountain casts a shadow over that area. If I catch you in that end of town before you're eighteen...there will be trouble. If you want some funny stories about that place, talk to your grandmother." Kovu interrupted him.
They gazed out into the sunrise for another few minutes, before Kovu broke the peaceful silence.
"Everything here exists in a delicate balance. As King, you need to understand that balance. From the booming economy, to a random piece of trash on the road." Kovu continued.
"But we throw away the trash don't we?"
"Yes Simba but let me explain. When we throw it away it is recycled, so it does not pollute the air. If the air is polluted, we cannot breathe. You see? We are all connected in the great circle of life." Kovu explained, and felt a warm breeze blow through his hair. That was when he knew it. King Simba the great was with them.
Kovu closed his eyes, and listened as the wind blew a hauntingly beautiful tone. He felt the breeze die down, and then he opened his eyes. Simba II was still admiring the sunrise. Kovu turned around slowly, and his heart stopped.
Four ghostly figures stood at the other end of the roof, watching him. Their bodies were outlined with a golden glow, signifying their place among the great kings. The first was a bulky man, about 6'2 tall, and had shoulder length auburn hair, with a neat, thin mustache. It was Mufasa Taylor, the wise King. He smiled at Kovu warmly. The next man was taller, but slightly lighter built. He had short hair of the same color and wore his distinctive sleeveless yellow khaki shirt. He was Simba Taylor, the most inspirational leader the world had seen. and winked at him. The next man was built like a warrior, and wore a sleeveless combat shirt with camouflage pants and a headband. It was Eugene 'EJ' Jones, the guardian and warrior of the Pridelands. And he gave Kovu a friendly little salute. The last man, and certainly not the least wore a tuxedo, had auburn hair brushed backwards and soul patch beard. It was Conner 'Kopa' Palladino, the son of Simba. He also gave Kovu a little smile.
Kovu raised a hand, and saluted them. They all returned the gesture with a smile.
"Dad? What are you doing?" Simba II asked his father.
Kovu turned to face him.
"What? Nothing son." Kovu answered and looked back to where Mufasa, Simba, EJ and Kopa were standing.
They had vanished. Kovu shook his head and smiled again. They would always be there with him, guiding him...always.
"What's going on?" Simba II asked.
"Nothing. Now let's go get some breakfast hey?" Kovu suggested and Simba II nodded.
Kovu felt the warm sun on his shoulders as he descended down the hatch, and he sighed. That went well. Simba II followed him down and they progressed down to the garage.
"Dad, can we take the 500?" Simba requested and Kovu raised an eyebrow.
"I guess so..." Kovu agreed.
"YES!" Simba II exclaimed. That blue 1968 GT-500 was the car he felt the greatest connection to, and he liked to show off by being in it.
Kovu jumped into the classic vehicle beside his son and started the motor.
He revved the massive engine several times to his son's delight, before starting to slowly guide it towards the gate. It was then Simba II asked something Kovu never thought he'd ask, and some he would never forget. And something he wasn't prepared to answer.
"Dad...Who is Friedrich Heckler?" Kovu stamped on the breaks.
There was a long and awkward pause between them as Kovu thought about how to answer. Flashbacks and images suddenly flashed through his mind from that fateful time period, and he shook them off quickly.
"Son...In your history classes you will learn about people like Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, and even your great, great uncle Taka 'Scar' Taylor. But they will never tell you about Friedrich Heckler. Firstly because very few know of his very existence...and even less the true extent of what he was. Secondly, the few that do know of him, will never speak of what he's done." Kovu said seriously, and Simba II wasn't really prepared for that sort of answer.
"So, who is he and what did he do?" Simba II insisted.
"Simba...just never say that name in my presence. Are we clear?" Kovu almost growled at him.
"Yes dad." Kovu nodded and started his engine again.
They exited the palace without another word and sped away, into the horizon, while the sun still rose over their homeland; a peaceful, safe, and prosperous homeland, never to be interrupted again.
THE END. Words that took me five months to get to. Hope you all enjoyed this work as much as I have. If we could do 250 reviews that would be really special :)
Anyway, the most important part of the epilogue is the final A/N. Why? Because the next story is announced. Many of you know I was assisted by Haradion in this story, so I guess I am pretty grateful for it. Due to popular demand, the Modern Human Version Series will continue. But...not in the form of another sequel or a 'Modern Human Version 4'. Instead, we go back the 1960s and 70s; the reign of Ahadi. We will follow the story of one whose sins are as numerous as the stars in the sky.
Judgement: Modern Human Version...In development and coming soon! Stay tuned!
This has been JJZ-109, and as always...Have a nice day.